Credit: The Washington Post

The Washington Post has launched a new app for smart TV and streaming devices last week (14 October 2019) as a way to engage readers in a variety of different formats.

The ‘News Reader’ app allows users of Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV to browse through a selection of different stories on a big screen.

With 74 per cent of households in the US own at least one smart TV or a TV device for streaming - known as over-the-top (OTT) devices - the Washington Post saw a largely untapped market for news content on this platform.

“We want to bring a new kind of experience to television screens," said Kat Downs Mulder, VP of product and design, The Washington Post.

"It allows users to access the best content The Washington Post publishes in the times and places that are convenient to them."

Users can swipe through a range of different articles ranging from quick reads to long-form investigative pieces, often featuring video content and other graphics.

The Washington Post

"For the News Reader, we wanted to focus on bringing the best of our written content to TV screens," she added. "We believe there’s an opportunity to expand conventional usage of OTT devices."

For now, there are no plans to introduce paywalls for content published to the platform. The publisher is focused on building presence and gauging appetite for news content on these devices.

It has already found that content is being consumed in groups, reminiscent of a time when families read the newspaper together - only now it is in a digital space.

The move to streaming devices comes as the Washington Post has expanded its presence onto a range of other platforms, including TikTok and Viber, as a way to engage and attract new audiences.

“When we see new platforms growing, we think about how to bring the Washington Post to those users. We always want to meet readers and potential readers wherever they might be with an excellent and memorable experience," Mulder concluded.

Save the date: our Newsrewired digital journalism conference takes place on 27 November at Reuters, London. Head to newsrewired.com for the full agenda and tickets

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